Norah Jones began her North American tour Friday night at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- a 2,800-seat Art Deco venue. It suited Jones' performing style perfectly: both were cool and mysterious, yet approachable; beautiful, yet comfortable and welcoming.
Jones opened the show on electric guitar, leading her crack band through "I Wouldn't Need You" from her new album, The Fall. Then came "Light as a Feather."
Answering the crowd's early and enthusiastic response, she smiled and said: "You guys are already awesome!"
As Jones continued to play songs from The Fall she moved from electric guitar to electric piano, and then to standard piano, where she seemed most comfortable.
At one point, a fan yelled out: "Come Away With Me!"
"Was that a request, or a...request?" Jones responded, eliciting laughter.
She was funny throughout, responding to compliments on her hair, requests for songs, and one "That's-What-She-Said" joke. But at the piano, she was all business.
When Jones played the classic "Cold, Cold Heart," from her debut Come Away With Me, the crowd erupted. "I know you all know that's Hank Williams, because this is Oklahoma," Jones said.
Near the end of her set, band members began to leave the stage one at a time, until only Jones and backup vocalist, guitarist Sasha Dobson remained. They harmonized beautifully on new song "December."
Then Dobson left the stage and Jones launched into the whimsical "Man of the Hour," a song about her poodle, Ralph.
It's easy to assume that Jones, a best-selling songstress with a love of the classics, might be aloof, serious and old-fashioned. But her live shows prove her to be a modern American girl with a beautiful, lively spirit. And her new songs depict fun, edgy, and haunting chapters in her life.
Jones doesn't take herself too seriously, but with her talent, she doesn't have to.